tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN January 9, 2014 6:00pm-8:01pm EST
military felt that this was not wise, at least many of them quorum call: did, and they believed had we continued to pursue negotiations, we may have been able to reach the kind of agreement that would allow us to help the iraqi government to be stable and successful. pulling out as we did always seemed to me to be too rapid, too precipitous and created dangers that could place at risk which our soldiers fought and died for. and i do believe that is what wt happened. and it's a tragic thing. i was in fallujah not long after that bitter battle. we lost hundreds wounded and almost a hundred killed and the marines performed with such valor and courage it was one of the great, courageous performances of the united
states marine corps and it's sad, sad to me to see that today al qaeda is flying a flag in parts of that city. just it is tragedy, and it's -- it did not maintain the faith that we ought to have maintained with those we, in congress, directed to go out and fight this war and to be successful. witand maybe yet something can e done successful to deal with this situation which i feel deeply about. i was here, mr. president, to share some thoughts about the remarks delivered today by president obama on the growing problem of poverty and chronic unemployment that has occurred during the six years of his presidency, after he's declared that the recession is over and was over.
and just this week the senate majority leader, harry reid said that the rich keep getting rirp and the poor keep getting poorer and the middle class is uner sieg--under siege, close quote. wages are not doing well. americans in large numbers are not doing well and they are hurting. and washington democrats, led by the president, are now proposing increased unemployment insurance and new wage price controls -- wage controls to mandate wages that have to be paid to treat the consequences of a failed economy, a stagnant, slow-growth economy that's not creating jobs. so these words and actions represent an admission, i think, to me that the white house economic agenda has been disaster for poor and middle-class people.
it has not worked. i know he believes it would work. i know he's advocated these policies. i know he promised that they would work. but they're not working. worst still, the president remains fully committed to the policy regime that he's been advocating and that is not working. these policies have failed not just for the last five years, they've failed for the last 50 years. they will never work. so the president and leader reid are correct. a nervous american business community is hoarding profits because dhee kno they don't knoe future is going to be like. and the policies that we're seeing executed by the government are impacting this situation negatively. they just are. i know the people proposing these solutions think they're
caring about people that are hurting today, but if you care about them, you'll use your head as well as our hearts and we'll think through as to how to make growth occur in our economy, how to help jobs be created, how to have wages rise instead of stagnate or decline. $16 trillion has been spent fighting poverty since the war on poverty began, a 50-year event. yet where do we stand today? 47 million americans are on food stamps. 91.5 million are outside the labor force, not working. and 46 million are living in poverty. in low-income communities, the pain is especially severe. for example, in the city of baltimore, one in three residents receives food stamps. in chicago, 51% of the city's
children live in a single-parent family. in detroit, almost one in three households had not had a single person working at any time throughout the year. almost one in three households. the city's violent crime rate is among the worst in the country. more than half of all detroit children live in poverty. so the welfare bureaucracy that the left is determined to defend and expand is failing our fellow americans. it is just not working. we can do better. we've got to do better. no longer can we define quorum call: compassion by how much money we spend on poverty but how many people we lift out of poverty. that's the goal we must have. the amount of money state and federal governments spend on the welfare bureaucracy each year amounts to more than $1
trillion. that is -- that is a huge sum. it's twice the defense department budget. if all these funds were converted to cash and mailed to every household in poverty, it would equate to $60,000 per household. we've got huge bureaucracies, huge multiple conflicting programs, and programs that aren't workinged and aren't helping the people that we're supposed to help. they just are not. yet, as the president now admits, chronic poverty and a winding income gap is the new normal. isn't it time that we broke from decades of policy that are not -- that have proven not to work? imagine how much better it would be if we combined dozens of overlapping welfare programs into a single credit with better oversight standards focused on the goal of helping people become financially self-sufficient.
we need fresh approaches. we have to have fresh approaches. we can do this. we're going to have do this. i believe it will happen. the sooner it hangars th happene better off this country will be and the better off poor people will be. but all we get from the white house are the stale policies of yesterday. that's all. what is the agenda the president persists in pushing? consider the cornerstones of the president's economic agenda, the things he's been pushings in this senate, in this congress and advocating unilaterally through powers of the executive president, some beyond all law, it seems to me. these are the things he has consistently advocated for. he wants a government health care takeover, and that has proven to be a job killer. it is killing jobs, and two-thirds of the jobs this year that were created were part-time, and in large part that was a reaction to the
affordable care act. what else? he 45s has a consistent hostilo mr. reid: mr. president? the production of american the presiding officer: the energy, which makes the country majority leader. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the cow of the quorum be more wealthy to produce our own terminated. energy rather than transferring -- the call of the quorum be our wealth abroad to buy energy terminated. the presiding officer: without from abroad and it creates jobs objection. mr. reid: mr. president, today in america, high-paying jobs. has been an eventful day on the we have proposals for -- unemployment insurance front. we began the day working with repeated proposals for more and republican colleagues to put together what we thought was an amendment that they would join more taxes, more and more us in pushing forward. regulations that make it more but surprisingly, mr. president, difficult for united states workers to compete in the global and disappointingly to me, those that we've worked with were not marketplace. it makes it harder for their able to join on the amendment. companies to be able to export and, therefore, create more i'm disappointed for a number of reasons, not the least of which american jobs. is we gave the republicans what we have a lawless immigration they wanted. policy that undermines american workers and their wages. it's entirely paid for. it just dis. they can say -- it just does. the amendment made structural they can say whatever they want reforms in the unemployment to say, but the bill nas that pd compensation field, which they
said they wanted. the amendment includes a the senate, the comprehensive proposal much like that advocated by senator portman immigration bill, would have doubled the number of guest workers. so some say, well, jeff, they that would prevent people from collecting both unemployment insurance and disability are just going to be agricultural workers. insurance at the same time. that's not so. only a smaller number are going and our amendment includes an to be agricultural workers. offset that's paul ryan's they're going to have hundreds of thousands -- million-plus offset. it was the same thing that we workers traveling around the country taking jobs all over used in the murray-ryan budget agreement that this body america, twice as many lawfully supported just a few weeks ago. so, mr. president, totally paid as would be the case under for, was somethin with somethinl current law. this is supposed to be immigration reform? ryan suggested and we adopted this is supposed to help just a short period of time -- a american workers find a job? short time ago. it makes structural reforms they have a pay raise? said they wanted. maybe not all of them but it we have a weak trade policy. made structural reforms. we've got to stand up for the it's hard to understand why they american workers on the world stage and make sure that our can't take "yes" for an answer. trading partners are accepting our products like we accept their products. maybe it's because they don't and if they don't, we've got to want the legislation passed. defend the interests of the it's possible, huh? american worker. that's the way to help them have more jobs and better pay. but i haven't given up, mr. president.
and we have a welfare i had discussions with a number bureaucracy that penalizes work. of republican colleagues this evening and they said they're the president is proposing more going to try to come up with massive spending that -- and something else. i certainly hope that's the creating more debt. he's had the greatest debt case. increases in history in our we need to understand that country, and that is destroying and weakening growth in america. there's 1.4 million americans hurting and it's hard for me to it places a cloud over the american economy, as experts have told us. so these policies have been the order of the day now for five comprehend why something that years. that's what we've heard. meets the outlines of what we we need to spend more, we need to invest more, we need to tax understood they wanted isn't more, we've had more regulations good enough. than we've ever had in american now, maybe they don't like it history, we've had because it doesn't give them an trillion-dollar deficits, the opportunity to -- well, i with likes of which we've never seen before, and people wonder why the economy is not doing well. we blocked all production in the dra that --withdraw that today. gulf for an inordinate period of time and only slowly allowing i think we've had enough talk that to recur. we've blocked the canadian here today. i'm not go to add with that. pipeline that would create what i want to close the senate thousands of american jobs. tonight by saying it's really we've blocked energy production unfortunate for a lot of people on federal lands. that are really hurting.
we make it harder for energy paid for with something that is certainly standard. production on private lands to occur, and we wonder why we can't create sufficient jobs and it's -- around here we won't be able to use it anymore. this takes -- this takes care of growth. we need lower-cost energy, it. we won't be able to use this cheaper energy. same money anymore, but it that's good for the economy. doesn't affect the budget in any the falling in natural gas way. it doesn't raise the deficit one prices has been a help he, because of new techniques in penny. it sounds like a pretty good production of natural gas. deal to me to help 1.4 million people. so these status leftist policies have been tried in america before, and they've been tried throughout the world for and i wouldn't -- i guess i decades, and they will never can't help myself. work. mr. president, you go explain to taxing, regulating, more somebody that's an government, taking over the health care industry will not unemployment -- long-term unemployed in the state of create prosperity and jobs in colorado, state of illinois, america. state of anyplace and they say, it just won't. if it were, we'd be doing so they didn't vote for this much better. because they didn't get to offer since the president has entered unlimited amendments, even office, we've added an though there's a proposal that incredible $7 trillion to the debt of the united states -- $7 it wouldn't run up the deficit one penny, all paid for?
trillion. and what do we have to show for that? it's hard for me to comprehend real wages are lower today than they were in 1999, take-home pay that, mr. president. you could explain that to someone, but that's their job to explain it, not me. has fallen for five consecutive my explanation is it is years, average household wealth something the american people need and want and should have. is 60% lower today than it was i ask consent the senate now in 2007, 1.3 million fewer proceed to a period of morning business, senators allowed to speak for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without people are workin working. objection. mr. reid: i ask the senate proceed to calendar number 271. 1.3 million fewer people are the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 271, working today than in 2007. have we had a recovery? senate resolution 312, calling that's almost -- that's six on the government of iran to years ago. fulfill their promises of we've got fewer people working assistance in this case of today than we had six years ago, robert levenson and so forth. and every month we add 100,000 the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection, the senate or so -- 150,000 people will proceed to the measure. mr. reid: i ask the resolution basically through the employment be agreed to, the nelson rolls of america -- excuse me, amendment to the preamble be agreed to, the preamble as to the age cohort of americans amended be agreed to and the nelson amendment to the title be that work, during their working agreed to and the motion to reconsider be considered made ages, because of the population and laid on the table, that increasing that much. there be no intervening action or debate. so you've got to create real the presiding officer: without jobs to stay ahead of just the objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous
consent the mandatory quorum status quo. required under rule 22 be waived with respect to the two cloture and this is 1.3 million -- 1.3 motions filed earlier today. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until monday, million fewer people working today, even though the january 13, at -- january 13. population has grown 14.5 following the prayer and pledge, the morning business be deemed million. 1.3 million fewer people are expired, the journal of working today than in 2007, even proceedings be approved to date, the time for the two leaders be though the population has grown reserved for their use later in the day, and that following any 14.5 million. leader remarks, the senate that is not good. resume consideration of the unemployment insurance so the president is right to be extension, that the filing worried about the health of the deadline for all first-degree amendments to this legislation american middle class and be 3:00 p.m. monday, and the lower-income workers in america. filing deadline for all second-degree amendments to the it sure hasn't been going well, reed amendment number 2631 be and i know he thought his 4:30 p.m. on monday. that further, at 5:00 p.m., the senate proceed to executive session to consider the statist ideas would work and he nomination of robert wilkins to pushed them steadfastly and he be a circuit judge for the d.c. had a senate that rubber-stamped circuit, with the time until 5:30 p.m. equally divided and virtually in-house what he controlled in the usual form wanted, an $800 billion stimulus prior to a vote on confirmation of that nomination. bill that was supposed to create finally, following the disposition of the wilkins
jobs and prosperity in america p nomination, the senate resume every pe-- in america. legislative session and proceed to the motion to invoke cloture on the reed amendment number every pe penny of that was 2631. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: the next vote, borrowed. mr. president, will be 5:30 p.m. if we continue down the road, i on monday on the confirmation of fear that we're going to sentence an entire generation of wilkins. if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask young americans to poverty, that it adjourn under the joblessness, and stagnant previous order. economic growth. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until senate stands adjourned until majority leader reid said this week that -- quote -- "we should realize that today there's only one job available for three people seeking a job." think about it." close quote. well, i agree we absolutely must think about that. we should think seriously about it. my first thought is since three people are looking for every one job that's open, then why has the president embraced an immigration bill that would double the flow of guest workers into america? who take jobs that would be available for american workers?
why? that's what i think about. some of today's debate on extending the jobless benefits. as david cameron, the prime minister of the united nations majority leader harry reid unveiled a revised bill that said recently, "immigration would extend unemployment benefits until november and include a provision barring cannot be a substitute for training our own workforce." those receiving social security disability payments from also is there something wrong with him saying that? receiving unemployment benefits. republicans objected to the new isn't that an honest, correct bill saying they aren't being statement speaking for the allowed to offer their own amendments. interest of the average britain? this is 30 minutes. so we >> i think you madam president we need to help struggling americans get off welfare, off unemployment, into good-paying for recognizing me. job. we have a loose labor market. i was trying to be recognizing the four the majority leader we don't have a tight labor decided to what we later called market. fill the tree which means taking away the opportunity for byron york, recently writing an amendments to be offered although we had an attempt in a excellent column, showed that moment to offer some. the very same companies that i'm disappointed because we were close to reaching an agreement signed letters to the president and the congress demanding more which would have enabled us to move forward with allowing guest workers are laying off senators on both sort of the aisle to offer some of their american workers by the thousands. ideas on the unemployment insurance extension.
big companies signing letters recall this is an important debate we are having before the demanding more workers and they're laying off thousands of american people whether we go workers. beyond the roughly 26 weeks and it's a fact. he listed them, 10, 15 unemployment insurance to have an emergency extension again and companies. some of them laid off thousands of people the very year they're on the side of the aisle there were a few of us who crossed writing this congress demanding over, in fact to float with the more foreign workers. and so now we have to extend entire democratic majority who unemployment because people say let's have that debate. can't find jobs. we thought we were going so in good faith and that there would we have to pass a law to set the wage so the wage can be higher actually be a debate on two issues really. one is whether it should be paid for or not and how it should be because it's not going up through the natural free market like it should if we had a more paid for which i will address in the second that second was how normal market for labor. we should reform the so who do we work for? unemployment insurance program and in fact other program policies that get at the i know who i work for. underlying problem which is a record level, record number of it's the hardworking people of alabama and the united states. americans who are on long-term i don't work for the masters of unemployed. clearly what we are doing is the universe demanding more working and this is an opportunity for us to help workers from congress when improve the program to actually millions of americans are unemployed. address the real problem. america's not an oligarchy. the president of the united house republicans need to tell states wants to do that. wants to do that. this president firmly, we work he called me a monday and he said he hoped would it be able
for the american people. to address this issue by voting for the motion to proceed to we reject any immigration plan begin this debate so that over the next few months while we that puts special interests, corporate interests before working americans. have a short-term extension of this program it could be even we're going to -- they need to say, we're going to defend the more detailed discussions about working people of this country. how to approve the legislation it's not being defended in the senate by the democratic and add other elements to it majority, that's for sure, with specifically on how to get regard to the immigration people who are long-term policy. unemployed the skills they need so a small group of c.e.o.'s, to access the jobs that are they don't get to set available. unfortunately we are not going immigration policy for the to have an opportunity now it country, no matter how much appears to be held to have this money they have, how many ads they buy. debate and with a pay-for should be and how to improve the program but let me just say this we're not going to enrich the political class at the expense is unfortunate because we have of the middle class. 60 votes to proceed and that and we will reject the includes certainly three of us immigration bill that passed the who are here on the floor today. senate. that's one of the things we all three of us are willing to could do to help improve job move forward with this with a prospects for americans. reasonable provision to pay for this over three months and again during nap. that would work. not to come up with a better and it wouldn't cost us a dime. we wouldn't have to borrow mon improved unemployment insurance program. we were not part of the discussion as to the pay-for the money. actually, we'd get people off majority leader has just put forward. i appreciate his good faith and
welfare, get people off food stamps and put them back into wind to include one of the the work force and put us on proposal i had my amendment. i honestly do appreciate that. better path. i will say the offset he is put so if we want to reverse middle-class declining -- in i just learned about because middle-class decline, we need an i didn't have the opportunity to see it until now and it's an economic vision. important difference between the here's some concrete steps we can take to restore opportunity for the american people without offer in the democratic proposal adding a penny to the national and what is in my proposal. debt. my proposal i have come to floor we need policies that work to to talk about three times now create prosperity without has been previously proposed in borrowing and creating more de the house that says if you get debt. unemployment insurance or you we just have to do that. get. adjustment assistance then you what are some of the things? produce more american energy. also do not receive social security disability insurance in that same month. toughen thturn the welfare offia why? because these programs are mutually exclusive if you're on social security disability ssdi job-training center. we can do this. we're going to have to do this. we're going to have to move that means you're not working by people from dependence to definition. if you are working and lose your independence. we need to streamline the tax job and continued to look for work you get daa. code. maybe not any -- i'm not saying if you have lost her job and we can have big tax cuts but we looking for work which is need to streamline the code and required to get unemployment insurance. this is why the general program make it more growth oriented to help us be more competitive is laid out in the presence budget and in fact something i worldwide. believe that soup orts and eliminate every washington others.
regulation that's not needed. they are puzzles that democrats these are regulations that kill have included says if you jobs and kill competitiveness. receive unemployment insurance in the month he received social security then your ssdi is we need to enforce trade rules reduced by the amount of with our partners that defend unemployment insurance receive. the legitimate interest of u.s. why does that matter? is not the same thing and it workers. we need to enforce an matters because the proposal that the majority leader has immigration policy that serves proposed saves a lot less money the national interest, the people's interest, that protects according to the congressional jobs for americans. budget office. my proposal phase $5.4 million we need to make the government leaner, our government leaner in theirs would save about a billion dollars. and more accountable, doing more for less like good business and i appreciate that morning to include it and i believe it's in the same spirit of the memo by good corporations and good offer but we have honestly haven't had time to talk about companies are doing all over america. we need to do that with our this. i tried today to sit down with a government. the democratic sponsor of the that will help the economy. underlying legislation and the other senator reid who in good balance the federal budget. faith said he wanted to talk about it but we haven't been restore the confidence of the american people and the world able to schedule that so we have not had the discussion so we are financial community in the just learning to be again to vitality and the future of america and spare our children take it or leave a proposal that from a lifetime of debt of th is in the majority leader's proposal in filling the tree. there's a possibility the
debt. these are all positive steps that are true our constitutional majority leader has expressed interest in looking at this and heritage and our legacy of freedom and opportunity. taking that agreement and altering it's somewhat over the those are the things we should next couple of days because the be doing and we can do. cloture would not -- they're all steps that will create more jobs and more growth until monday afternoon but that still doesn't give all the other without borrowing money and colleagues a chance to offer their good ideas and they're a these are all steps that will bunch of them out there. lift millions out of poverty, the senator from new hampshire help struggling americans offered hers the day before realize the dream of financial yesterday and talked about today on the floor where she wants to independence. and i don't know what the take away some of the existing miss payments in the child tax president's talking about, a few credit. little promise zones, is that to preserve the child tax credit what he called them, around the for those who are truly eligible and for those were not eligible obviously they shouldn't have country? and this is somehow going to access to it. deal with the unemployment it seems like a sensible problem in america. amendment to me. he announced this today. i'm a co-sponsor. i haven't had a chance to study senator coats has raised his ideas today and i think he has it yet but i saw the map. these are just a few spots good ideas that ought to be debated. around the country. this is not going to have any my hope is that we would be able to go back to where we were kind of systemic impact on our declining growth and weak prior to filling the tree and say let's have a discussion. recovery that we're seeing tod it can be limited. today, a recovery that if it i think there are a limited number of amendments. doesn't exceed 2% g.d.p. growth i see the republican whip is on
the floor and indicated to me per year will not create jobs. that there are 20 amendments offered by the republican side. i don't know how many of those and i'm afraid we're not in a have actually been filed but it good position there. seems to me we could have a good we're not seeing the growth that debate on that and so we should. my hope is that we can come up we have and experts are predicting slow growth in the with a solution here. years to come. i do think it's going to require we have to get off the path we're on, get on a path to us providing opportunity for the growth, job creation, prosperity people to being gauged in specifically for those of us who and make sure our american want to get to a solution which citizens are trained, skilled is a lot of people on the side of the island that side of the and operating and moved into aisle. those sides of the aisle read those jobs so they can be lets it down and talk. independent and take care of we are adults. their families without being we have been elected i millions dependent on the government of the united states. of people to represent them and i would thank the chair and yield the floor. it's our responsibility and our commitment to them that we would sit down across the aisle and work these things out as you would in any other relationship, and your marriage, in your business with your neighbors. we had discussion just yesterday that for some reason the united states senate it seems we are unable to even have the most basic level of discussion and debate so i am hoping -- open to that in i had hoped to
do today. i put my ideas out there. parts of them have been accepted i appreciate that frankly not the way we laid it out in my amendment. i do believe we have the opportunity if we were to back up to solve this problem and provide with the president says he wants which is a three-month extension long-term unemployment so that we can sit down roll up our sleeves as republicans and democrats and come up with a better way to address what is a crisis in this country which is more people long-term unemployed than ever in the history of our country. those people are hurting and clearly the current system isn't working so just extended is not the answer. the answer is to have washington do a job and reform these programs so they work for the people we represent. >> the majority leader. >> it's the same tune time and time again. things are never quite right. they want to offer amendments. we have been waiting here since monday for pay-fors. the only pay for we have heard
realistically to take care of this is something that everyone knows we would disagree on, to take away health care benefits from the american people. the proposal by my friend from a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. ohio is not a good proposal. ms. murkowski: mr. president, it hurts people who are disabled it's been a disappointing week here in the united states sena senate. i started out the week feeling and that is the fact. pretty good, pretty optimistic, we have stopped dual payments. had a major presentation before that is what our amendment does. the brookings institute talking about the enormous potential in this is something we have been this country for energy production, the fact that we are going through and the american people have been going through now for years. at the highest level of energy my friend worked with the senior production domestically than we senator from new hampshire on have been in 20 years and what great prospects we have for th energy efficiency. now if that wasn't quite a show. that. when we're talking about jobs and economic opportunity, it's really one of the bright spots that are out there. i had conversations on numerous of course, the debate this week numerous --
has been over unemployment we have gotten it all taken care of. republicans are finally moving compensation and the extension forward on this. they went on for weeks and weeks and weeks. initially proposed by the president to be a three-month we never got anything done. so madam president, we are where extension, an emergency we are. extension, a temporary extensi the democrats don't need a memo extension. and i was one of six republicans to tell them to have a good that came together and said, this is an important conscience about people who are conversation for us to be having disabled. be compassionate about people who are unemployed. at this particular point in time. we don't need a memo. as we know, the long-term employment benefits expired we know people that are december 28th of 2013. long-term unemployed and are desperate for help. it impacted over a million we are compassionate. we don't need a memo to tell us americans around the country and that day the american people in my home state of alaska, want to know where we stand. about 6,500 people lost are we going to extend unemployment benefits for people long-term benefits at the end of the year and it was kind of one who let been out of work for of these cold turkey things. longtime? that's the issue before this party and we have and over those that -- that still had eligibility for certain benefits backwards through jack reed to were -- were cut off hard. come up with a proposal to pay for this and get rid of this issue for this year. there was no tapering down. we have structural changes in this is hard.
the senate. back here in washington, d.c., we've been living with some we have a pay-for that came from pretty cold weather. paul ryan republican well, it's cold weather all the time in alaska this time of year. it's hard to be out of work. it's -- it's expensesive to keep your homes heated. presidential, vice presidential it's expensive to live there. candidate this last election and so i recognize that these cycle. safety nets that we put in place mr. chairman of the budget are important and they are committee. so madam president we have done i think a yeoman's job through important that -- that we have jack reed and we need to move on and that is what we are going to discussion and debate and -- and do. there comes a time and now if argue and compromise about how there is a proposal that my we ensure that whether it's friend has, we know his long-term employment benefits expertise. the problem is with his continue at the right time, expertise it's never quite that -- that this conversation right. it's almost but not quite right happens. and so i wanted to have that and so the time is now to fish debate. i wanted the opportunity for -- or cut date and they can make for full-on amendments, to bring up good ideas, whether it's good all the emotions they want to to ideas about reform, perhaps try to complain about how we tying benefits to -- to job offer enough amendments. training, retooling, giving people that opportunity to move madam president i know what they forward, whether it was a debate said needs to be because i used to be senator and it doesn't about how we pay for it. i think we recognize around here
work the way it used to not because of anything we do wrong there have been times when we have extended long-term but because of the obstruction unemployment benefits with an of president obama's agenda every day more obstruction. offset. and then there have been times that we have extended it on an emergency basis with no offset. >> what the senator yield for a question? but let's talk about it. let's debate it. let's put up some amendments. >> what the senator yield for a and so i was part of that group question? of course. >> the senator from texas. >> madam president i would ask that really thought that we would not only able to talk but the distinguished leader whether it's the idea of his caucus and that we would actually be able to weigh in as members impersonally whether people like to be able to collect -- representing our states, presenting our ideas, speaking for our constituents on these and disability benefits issues that are very important simultaneously? >> that is why jack reed's around the country. proposal stops it. and usually in a body like the >> i would further as the majority leader is my united states senate, the -- the understanding that distinguished actions don't happen unless you senator from ohio's amendment would discontinue the have an opportunity to -- to simultaneous collection of disability on unemployment vote on things. benefits but you object to that and so this afternoon to listen amendment and instead are to the majority leader's statement in -- in saying very clearly, we weren't going to balking that amendment and other amendments by the republican have any amendments on the -- side of the aisle by one the
changes the effective date of the emergency unemployment the bill 1 day. compensation extension act. in other words it's purely a blocker bill and has zero in fact, his words were, "we get substance whatsoever and does nothing to improve the nowhere with doing amendments." underlying bill. mr. president, i find that so >> is there a question here and disturbing. i have only been in the senate all of this? >> isn't that right? >> that's quite right. here 10 years, but what i have it's quite right. seen in my 10 years is -- is a is what right? >> what i just said. change in a process, a change in >> now our, it's not right an institution where we are -- because what the senator from ohio's amendment does is hurt we are no longer taking the good people who are disabled. this amendment is part of jack ideas from this side and the reed's amendment and stops good ideas from this side people from collecting both and through an amendment process, or if it's at the same time. even from a committee process, >> i would ask the distinguished for that matter, and building majority leader if he would have let me ask one more question. better policy based on the good ideas that we all have. >> the majority leader. >> is the majority leader aware why would we be afraid to vote that there are 24 republican amendments on file almost all of on amendments? which deal with the underlying they may take us a little bit ill in an attempt either to longer throughout the day to go improve workforce education through. it disrupts our schedules. training, provide other reforms well, you know what? my schedule is to work for the to the unemployment compensation system or otherwise help the people of alaska, and if that economy recover so that people
business isn't conducted here won't have to depend on unemployment insurance and they through -- through debate and voting, what is it? can get a job? are you aware there are those what is it? so i was -- i was really quite amendments on the side of the aisle? discouraged after the exchange >> i don't know the exact number on the floor earlier where but there is always a lot of proposed amendments around. what i would say is this. colleagues who have worked hard rather than continually i think to come up with some denigrating our economy, our good proposals, these are not president and frankly i believe our country i think there should "gotcha" amendments as was suggested by the majority leader. i think the senator from ohio's be more constructive things around here. proposal, a proposal that is for example we had today a conversation for an hour and a half with chairman bernanke. actually contained in the he is going to be there until president's budget proposal, i think it was -- it was the first of next month and it absolutely legitimate. was a very good discussion. so to suggest that it is an he talked about the vibrancy of amendment without merit is not this economy now. really fair. he said as we have been saying and at the end of the day, don't here, it's not as good as it we judge the merit of an should be but he said with a amendment, of an idea, of a little bit of help it would be on fire and why isn't it on proposal by presenting it to the body for a vote? fire? because of the obstructiobstructi on over here. as you know, the new fed chair, so if we truly are at that
point, mr. president, where we're simply not going to amend chairman yellen's also said bills, that we're simply going unemployment benefits are a great impetus to helping the to vote straight up-or-down on a economy. bill that has been presented to for every dollar put into the us probably not even out of the economy with unemployment benefits we get a dollar -- committee process but more likely from the majority leade $1.50 back. this bill recognizes these benefits don't go on together -- leader's chambers, that's a tough place for us to be as a forever. we would be happy in a time to sit down and have a good body. that's not what this process is discussion with the senior all about. senator from texas and anyone else to talk about rings we could do but we have not had a the minority leader reminded us yesterday that we can do better, workforce, what is that program we can do better as an institution, but we sure didn't called? demonstrate that today. i want to work with my colleagues on the issue of since 1998. we have a lot of programs madam president to deal with job unemployment compensation. i want to be able to recognize retraining and it's really, in that -- that compassion that we show for other americans who are 1998 when we did that it wasn't a bad deal but here it is all dealing with great difficulty these many years later so of course we need to sit down and right now. talk about ways to improve
i want to try to move this kr retraining. this whole country needs that. that is also something chairman bernanke said today so i repeat country forward with policies that are good and strong and create those jobs. when i started my comment, i --t madam president lets start being constructed around here is that of talking about how terrible things are. let's talk about how things are energy production being that improving. bright light. we have 8 million new jobs since obama has been president but we look what's happened in the state of north dakota where, have a lot of things could've boy, anybody that wants a job can get one. in fact, they can get two or happened. has it been perfect? three. not even close to perfect but they're ground zero in this let's start working together. tight oil revolution. their unemployment rate was 2.7% last october. >> what the majority leader been a lot yield for a question? of back and forth going on about is at the majority leader's intent to allow votes on any key tony and its potential for republican amendments? providing direct jobs, direct >> on what? >> on the bill that we are just discussing? and indirect end use jobs around the country, 42,000 jobs. >> we have been waiting since wouldn't that be helpful? you know, when we talk about our thursday, since monday to get a opportunities in this country, proposal from the minority from we need to be putting in place policies that help advance jobs the republicans as to what they believe would be a good way to and job creation and the wealth pay for this. nothing other than blog
then that comes with it. we can and must be doing more, obamacare so the answer is we are where we are now. we have tried a number different and one of the areas that we need to address is where this ways on many different pieces of legislation to say okay, let's just do germane amendments. administration in my view has seen some real policy failures, how about relevant amendments? and that's in restricting access iowa about a specific number of to federal lands for resource amendments? development, blocking and no, he can't do that either. slowing the permitting process. we need to be doing more. we have unlimited amendments on and the president has touted the everything and as a result of that we have continued gains that have been made in obstruction that has taken place in this body for five years. energy production. it's time to get back to the but i think it's important to legislating the way we used to. recognize that most of those gains have been on private and state lands. >> is the answer to my question from my friend no? >> the answer to your question is no. you and i know, mr. president, >> now our. that there are enormous resources on our federal lands. let's access them, access them safely and in an environmentally >> madam president? responsible way but in a way that's going to help our economy, help the job situation in this country. >> the senator from ohio. i -- i feel that we can do so >> madam president thank you. i want to make two corrections much more, and i am hopeful, quickly and yield to my colleague from indiana a-1 is again, that we will in this the proposal that i did offer an
body, in this institution, we'll amendment. as the majority leader i thought be able to be working together understood and others including to solve some of the issues that the senator from hampshire's amendment so we have a number of confront us. good ideas. but again, i'm -- i'm disappointed. mr. president, i did not come to it is in the president's budget the floor here this evening to so if it's such a terrible proposal i'm surprised the president would have proposed talk about the comments that it. >> what the my friend yield for a question? i have a question to ask him. were made earlier on -- on where do you also understand the we are with the amendment process and really not being president's budget recalls for able to advance an amendment revenue in the budget, does he not? process, but you can tell i -- i >> calls for major tax increases for the american people. my friend would also acknowledge care deeply about this institution. i care deeply about our the president submits these responsibility to govern around budgets don't they propose it here, and i am -- i am not budget that are nitpicking convinced that we are governing different pieces of the budget to the best of our ability. one at a time to? >> the gentleman is correct and we need to make some changes, after putting together one is and it only comes when we widgets myself you have to stand acknowledge that those changes standby was policies and they think if you were to call on the have to come and that cooperation has to come from both sides. office of management and budget they would tell you they standby these proposals. tonight, mr. president, i came to the floor to talk about -- so yes it's a package but they
put these in because they think not yet. they are good policies. my only point is i think there to talk about a decision that are good ideas that are not related to obamacare since there came out of the department of seems to be an objection by the senate majority leader and i interior the day before hope we can work something out christmas eve. here. i do think there's an this is a decision that in my opportunity for us to do so but i don't think we can do it unless there is a little bit of view is absolutely event taken some discussion at lease which we have not been able to have and with that i yield to my friend. unconscionable, and it's a decision that was made by the secretary of the interior the >> madam president? >> the senator from indiana. afternoon of december 23 in >> madam president i will be brief. i know my colleagues have travel which she rejected a medical plans probably but this is emergency connector road between two very remote alaskan something that we had earnestly communities, between the hoped that by supporting the community of king cove and cold motion to proceed, six of us, we bay. and, mr. president, i have would have the opportunity to thought long and hard about my offer an amendment, debate that public comments to my colleagues amendment and have our colleagues vote on that here in the senate because i amendment. have spoken out about this at to simply say that for the home, and i was very direct, i was very direct about my anger, majority leader to say well, and my disappointment, my i quote him, i have looked at
frustration. these amendments that and i recognize that i have republicans have offered. to -- i've got to work with none of them are reasonable. folks in this administration, and when we're talking about the isn't that something this body is supposed to achieve by secretary of the interior, i something called the vote? recognize she is effectively alaska's landlord. i need to be able to figure out do we have one person here who a way to get along with her, but runs the place that says i will i have to tell you, decide whether or not you're an mr. president, this was absolutely a heartless decision amendment is reasonable? and if i decide you're amendment by secretary jewell. is reasonable along with all the other 23 then we won't have any it was a decision that she alone did vote or debate, ability to made and it will only serve to endanger the alaska native offer any amendment whatsoever. village residents of king cove. so i thought the way we settle with the decision that the things as to whether this body secretary made, she has put the thought something was reasonable or helpful or mike correct some interests of certain environmental groups and the of the equities that have been alleged peace and comfort of the talked about here was decided by birds, the waterfowl and the a vote of 100 senators but it has been decided by the decision eisenbeck national wildlife of one senator who has the power refuge above the lives of to do what he is doing. hundreds of alaskans. 950 alaskans live in king cove. this just perpetuates.
and by the secretary's act, by the majority leader said he has been waiting since monday for republicans to offer a pay-for. denying this short road needed i was down here tuesday offering to ensure the people of king for options to pay for and i cove reliable and safe access to know the majority leader doesn't sit in the office and come to an all-weather airport in nearby the floor when i come down to speak or tuned to the television cold bay, secretary jewell has but i think his staff would have told him coats has for pay-fors effectively turned her back on and i said i'm not asking for all four. mr. leader you select the one the alute people of western you think best fits the thoughts alaska. she has discarded her duty to uphold the trust responsibility and ideas and the values of your caucus. that the federal government owes so i put for up. to its native peoples. the majority leader said we are delaying time. we have been waiting for nearly and, mr. president, your uncle two days now for the majority served as secretary of the leader to make up his mind in interior. terms of what he wanted to do. he knows full well that trust the three of us, three of us who responsibility. it is a high trust. are listed as surprise those for and the secretary has turned her the motion to proceed weren't even asked to be part of any negotiations.
back to the native people out in king cove. and to add insult, to add insult so we were trying to look for a to what could very well be real solution to the problem and come injury or even death, secretary together and have something to offer to our colleagues to vote on. but we weren't even asked to be part of that. here we are, i'm representing jewell did this on the day before christmas eve. the people of indiana. on the day before christmas eve, their voice has shut down. i don't even have the ability to offer an amendment that my i receive a voicemail message constituents think they sent me from the secretary telling me here to do. that she later in that afternoon they didn't send me here to be is going to deny the road to just told to sit down and forget it. one person decides so i am very king cove. to sub pointed but with that i would like to in the interest of what was i doing? i was doing the exact same thing time ask unanimous consent to call up my amendment number 26. that most of the people that >> madam president. were around me. we were last-minute getting >> is there objection? ready for christmas. i was in the parking lot of the >> yes. >> the majority leader. objection is heard. fred meyer parking lot, going inside to get scotch tape and wrapping paper. >> just with cold fermented and minute and he can offer his amendment. i do want to say this. mr. president, the decision that madam presently went nowhere
offering amendments. we have learned that in the was made by the secretary is one past. amendments does not do the trick that goes beyond building a the issue is pronounced. it's here before us and we went a step further. ten-mile, one-lane gravel in the past we have not paid for this. noncommercial use road between five times president bush signed king cove and cold bay. this decision makes clear to us bills extending unemployment in alaska that our lives, the benefits not paid for. lives of the people, the human again, madam president we have beings that are there just don't done a good job of reducing that debt. we have a lot more we can do but we have reduced at almost seem to matter to the secretary. $3 trillion already. the issue is now before us. it's clear to me that either she are we going to extend benefits does not understand or she does not care about the most basic for people who have been unemployed for a longtime? needs of our remote residents, that's the question. we bent over backwards to come up with a compromise, a and it's quite clear that we have once again received unfair bipartisan piece of legislation treatment at the hands of our and i repeat, it's paid for. federal government. sometimes it just feels like there are structural changes. those on the outside, whether it's a pretty good deal. it's the federal government back and i'm very disappointed that here 4,000 miles away from home, we are at a point now where we
that there is this -- there is have been for five years. this sense that alaskans need to be protected from themselves. nothing is ever quite good enough. they always want more well, quite honestly, that's amendments. they always one amendments. but the issue is here before us. offensive. is this body going to vote to extend unemployment benefits, and quite frankly, i have a very paid for, paid for with paul hard time believing that if this same situation occurred ryan's pay-fors and the somewhere in the lower 48, that the decision would be the same. structural changes? are they going to turn their the fact of the matter is we're back on people who are out of sight, we're out of mind. there's only 720,000 people in desperate? >> madam president could i ask the majority leader to yields alaska. there's only 950 people or for just one question? mr. majority leader you just said this body gets nowhere by thereabouts in king cove. offering amendments. who's going to be upset? does that mean throughout this year it was worthless and well, i'm upset. meaningless for republicans offer any amendments or any bill to try to make an improvement or to try to have their voice heard or the voice of the people i i'm upset. represent in indiana heard on this floor? >> my friend from indiana is one not only at the people of -- not of the senators who used to be only have the people of king here in the good old times here. cove been robbed but the people of alaska have been robbed.
we didn't have got to amendments this was not a decision that is then. every amendment offered -- going to -- to just go away that is a more we do here. i've been waiting here since because we all got caught up in monday to get pay-fors to extend the christmas holidays. this is not going to be something that the people of unemployment benefits for these alaska or that this senator will people. they come up with stuff that forget, because we are not done. doesn't pay for even three months worth of extensions. amendments are important but now, i have been to this floor many times, many times, and in they have to be mr. president -- fact i think, mr. president, you have been in the chair on madam presently have to go back to the time when senator was previous occasions when i have here and start working together come to call attention to this in this body. life-saving road and the land >> madam president? >> the senator from indiana. exchange that was approved by >> madam president this is 100% congress, signed into law by the different than the time i was here the first time. we were able to offer in a memo to bill anytime. president, and i feel like i have told this story so many times that i don't need to both republicans and democrats allowed us to do that. this is the first time that i -- remind folks, but i'm going to provide a brief refresher. i have had the experience of the recent story of king cove actually started pretty well. never being it does offer an amendment. i think i heard the majority congress came together almost leader object but i wasn't sure. five years ago to give the did he object to my unanimous interior secretary reason and authority to act in the public consent request? >> mr. president?
>> the objection was heard. interest when it came to providing access. >> mr. president i was there just like my friend. but as is so often the case, things were different then. they certainly were because we didn't have hundreds of this has become yet another filibusters taking place. terrible example of the interests of our people put at a filibuster was something that was used rarely in those days would you have had a filibuster risk by their own federal government. so back in 2009, we passed -- i for the secretary of defense or the other cabinet officers? of course you would not have. had introduced legislation. that is why action had to be taken. my republican friends have to we passed legislation that realize that a filibuster is not proposed to add more than right, it's a privilege and it has been abused. 56,000 acres of state and tribal my friend can lecture me and i'm land to the eisenbeck refuge in happy to listen to his many lectures but i was here and i exchange for a 206-acre road know how things used to work. what has gone on in the last five years would never have corridor through a corner of the taken place in those days. >> would the majority leader refuge. yield for a question? again, i want to repeat the he brings up the secretary of numbers because some people say you must have forgotten a zero defense frequently. in this exchange. was the secretary of defense defeated or confirmed? an exchange of 56,000 acres of >> no, he was only delayed while
we had two wars going on in this country. tribal land for a 206-acre road >> as a cabinet president member corridor. and in addition to the fact that of the president's cabinet ever been defeated on a filibuster in this is a -- basically a 300-1 the history of the senate? >> mr. president in response to exchange that was offered, there my friend's question, no and in fact what has happened and we was agreement that this road find us with the judges, they stalled for weeks, months and would be so limited, so limited sometimes years and when the vote comes it's pretty good. as to have an infinitesimally in the meantime they have done significant damage to this institution and our country by stalling and making it so the president of the united states small impact on the refuge, is a difficult time doing his because the people of king cove job as he doesn't have his are not insensitive to the fact people there when he needs them. that this is a very rich >> i would ask my friend the majority leader, is what he ecosystem out there, this is a very rich area. finds offensive effect that this is where the birds do come there are debates about this matter? through. so they have got no interest in none of these members are being defeated. harming or damaging the refuge. what is the issue here? and so the agreement was a one am having a hard time understanding. the fact that there is controversy that there is debate lane between 10 and 11-mile-long and some of them are being defeated is he also suggesting gravel road, severely that we have no controversy restraighted by -- restricted by about anybody sent by the prison law, by law.
not just an agreement that the mayor says oh, during my tenure, of united states states? >> mr. president of course that we're not going to use it for question is a great big soft commercial purposes. this is in law. ball. of course not. we need debate. noncommercial purposes, one we need good strong debate about lane, 11-mile-long gravel road. nominations and everything else but what we don't need is ours and in addition, there are going and days and weeks and months of to be roping or corridors so obstruction. my friend the republican leader that if you are on the road, is picturing to everyone within your vehicle was on the road, you wouldn't be able to go off the sound of his voice something the road and onto the refuge and that doesn't exist. there has been obstruction that has been carried to the extent put tire marks or impact the refuge at all. the department of interior's own that no one ever dreamed would happen in this great republic. e.i.s. clearly showed that the that is what the objection is. the objection is to obstruction, actual acreage inside the refuge time after time. to be impacted by fill material was just around 2.7 acres. was it only a debate so again, think about the mr. president when my republican exchange. they're giving up 56,000 acres colleague said the d.c. circuit, in exchange for a 206-acre road some say the most important court in this country, even some corridor, and of that, the say more important in the
impact by fill material was -- supreme court when they decided is just about 2.7 acres. there were six vacant seats so consider also that the therein for five years, five years holding up those seats. exchange would have added is that debate? 2,300 acres of eel grass beds to no, it's obstruction. if you turn to the dictionary the refuge. and look up obstruction they now, this is prime habitat and would point right over here. feed for the black grant and >> with a majority yield for another question? since you have conceded that no clearly this is something that cabinet member has been defeaten secretary jewell thought was of the majority leader broke the rules of the senate to change great value because she put the rules of the senate. is it not the case that 215 of higher value on those than the human and wildlife values. that 2,300 acres then is about president barack obama's judges 20 times more than the eelgrass have been confirmed and only two have been defeated? that the e.i.s. said might have >> mr. president, during the time we have been a country and been impacted by erosion as a result of the road. i don't know exactly how long, so the rejection of this more than 230 years. exchange just dumbfounds me. there have been 23 district court nominees filibustered, 23. i just don't -- i don't 20 of them have been during the understand. the state of alaska and the five years of the obama local tribal groups were willing administration and that example
to give up 56,000 acres of land, is throughout the government. and keep in mind, mr. president, so mr. president. these are lands that were given to them under the native land claims settlement act. [laughter] the american people know what is these -- these lands are who taking place in this body. they are. and they're willing to give up 56,000 acres of it for a lousy you can try to paint a picture that things are just fine and all we are doing is wanting a one-lane gravel 11-mile little bit of debate. there has been stalling and noncommercial use road. obstruction. that's how much this road meant to them, because it was more than a road. now, i just can't imagine how my it was -- it was a life-saving republican colleagues can connector. it was a way for them to get to justify what they have done but they do and i accept that but an all-weather airport, the i'm also mr. president, we have second longest runway in the an issue before this body again state of alaska that was built they're trying to avert the attention. during world war ii, an amazing the issue before this body is whether long-term unemployment runway, actually, that isn't and an extension of their benefits. encumbered by the topography and as we speak there are people all over this country who art desperate, desperate to be able
the weather, as the king cove to get $300 a week to be able to airport is. so you have -- you have a people survive for another week hoping they will find a job. who are desperate for a the sad part about that my friends friend say we need to do solution, so desperate for their something about that, making solution that they are willing sure that these people are still to give up their lands, the most prized thing that -- that the these vacant jobs. native people have in our state there are lots of places they are the lands around them, and can find work. for every job they can see their they're willing to exchange them arch creep unemployed people for a small road corridor, a trying to find a job. 300-1 exchange. and the proposed land that would so i have answered the question to the best of my ability. have been provided to the federal government is pristine land that's valuable for the >> new jersey governor chris christie apologized to the people of the state today for waterfowl, for the wildlife, certainly would enhance and aid to conspire to cause a traffic jam in retaliation benefit the refuge. against a mayor who did not but secretary jewell said no to re-endorse -- endorse his re-election bid. this. she said no to this 300-1 here is more from that now. >> good morning. exchange and in -- an exchange that would enhance the habitat i came out here to this office
where i've been many times for the birds that she wants to before and i come out here today to apologize to the people of new jersey. protect. it really makes you wonder, has there ever been such a lopsided i apologize to the people of fort lee and i apologize to the land exchange that's been rejected by the federal government? the former head of the u.s. fish members of the state legislature. and wildlife service, dale i am embarrassed and humiliated hall, he was the one that largely picked the lands, and by the conduct of some of the had approved of this exchange people on my team. back in 2006, long before this there's no doubt in my mind that the conduct that they exhibited legislation was ever even is completely unacceptable and introduced. so the federal agencies, the fish and wildlife service, the head of the fiscal service had showed a lack of respect for the looked at all this and said appropriate role of government and for the people that work okay, well, in order to get this corridor there has to be trusted to serve. some exchange so let's figure out what it's going to be. he gave his blessing to that two pieces to what i want to back in 2006. but what this does speak to is talk about today. the first is, i believe that all how strongly steaians -- alaskans feel about protecting the health and safety of our of the people who were affected
residents and rightly so, and i would submit to you, by this conduct deserves this mr. president, that if secretary jewell and the u.s. fish and wildlife service truly apology and that is why i am giving it to them. i also need to apologize to them had the best interest of both for my failure as the governor the human residents and the birds of th izembek refuge in of this state to understand the mind they would have recognized true nature of this problem sooner than i did. adding 56,000 acres and taking but i believe i have an out 206 acres and the amount understanding now of the true nature of the problem and i have impacted by fill is 2.7 acres i taken the following action as a think they would provide far result. greater benefit to the refuge than any small, single lane, this morning i have terminated the employment of bridget kelly effective immediately. noncommercial road ever possibly could subtract. i've terminated her employment because she lied to me. the legislation directed u.s. fish and wildlife service to i was done with my work out yesterday morning and i got a conduct northwestern eis for the fall the a's call from mike in road. so the 2009 legislation that passed the house, that pass the any case instructor about 8:50, senate, signed into law by the president directed fish and 8:55 informing me of the story wildlife to conduct an e.i.s. that just broke at the bergen
that agency prepared a faulty report. this was the first time i knew e.i.s., they failed to adhere about it in the first time i'd to the underlying law choosing a seen any of the documents revealed yesterday and so before no-action alternative and i came out and spoke to all of failing to adequately account you i wanted to do the best they for health and human safety when could to try to get to the bottom of some of this so that selecting the preferred when i came out i could answer alternative. this is more evidence of questions as best i can and take appropriate action, action that systemic disregard for the well-being of the aleut who have was necessary. there is no doubt from reading those e-mails yesterday in my lived in this region for mind that action was necessary and then i wanted to make sure thousands of years. mr. president, i also want to that i spoke to those people who touch very briefly upon advise me to make sure there's interior's trust responsibility if there's any other information they were aware of that i had it to alaska native peoples. before i acted. the assistant secretary for indian affairs, kevin washburn, went to king cove, i'm going to continue this he visited, he actually spent process. i couldn't get it all done two days there. yesterday. in fact, they actually had some and as i said if there is more pretty stinky weather when he information that i and cover i was there and i think he saw will act accordingly in terms of releasing it to the public and firsthand what the residents of king cove deal with. in getting in and out. taking whatever action may be necessary if any is for any other issues. and also will react to any the assistant secretary wrote a
report for secretary jewell, it information coming from anyplace else. was not made public until after see that was part of a news the secretary announced her conference held earlier today in decision, which i think was trenton new jersey. you can see the entire hour and 15 minute press conference after unfortunate, but, again, back to this -- the trust the house goes out on c-span or any time at c-span.org. responsibility, the responsibility that the federal government has to protect the health and safety of native americans. but here you've got the fish and wildlife service, assistant secretary washburn and now finally, secretary jewell who had the opportunity to encourage or actually make a decision that would improve the lives of the residents of king cove and they turned their backs on these people and they diminished the hopes of these first peoples. the e.i.s. which recommended no action, no action to help the people of king cove, has a clear negative impact on the health and safety of alaska natives that live in that
village. >> it's disappointing to all of us to see the deterioration of the report, the official report the security inside iraq. that was prepared by you know i spent a lot of my mr. washburn regarding his visit life over there, from 2006 into to king cove i believe was 2006 to september 2010 i was inadequate, wholly inadequate and quite frankly very weak. there as we continue to reduce the level of violence in the he as the assistant secretary is sick during violence was going on. i believe we left it in a place where it was capable to reform viewed as a leading legal scholar on native trust and we have now seen because of several political issues internal to iraq as security responsibility. i truly have high hopes for him situation is now default into something that is in my mind concerning. because i believe that his heart this is not just about iraq. clearly is in that right place, in my mind it's something we but his report falls woefully have to be cognizant of as we look across the middle east and what's going on in syria, what's going on in lebanon, what's short of his duty to the aleut going on inside of iraq and it's people and i expected more of this that terry and potential him, truly i did and i know that the people of king cove building of sectarian conflict deserve better. between sunni and shia and the the health and safety of the exploitation of that by nonstate actors such as al qaeda and people of king cove is not some other organizations who will try speculative issue. to take advantage of this.
we're not just talking about the weather is bad, somebody might get hurt. the fact of the matter is, mr. president, that since 1980, 18 people have died and they've died because of medevac delays or because of the dangers connected with the medevac flights out of the fishing village. it's not easy to get in and out of king cove. they've got an airstrip, yeah, they do, but they sit right now house panel on possible between -- they're surrounded on three sides by mountains and a valley on one, and the ocean changes to medicare and medicaid on another. and the changes for doctors and medical programs. the coast guard describes this subcommittee hearing is two hours. medevacs into king cove as one of the more frightening, more >> this subcommittee will come challenging operations that the to order. the chair but recognize himself coast guard is tasked to do. for an opening statement. this subcommittee has played an and you might say why is the integral role in advancing a coast guard doing medicine permanent repeal of a
avaks? because medevac flights from sustainable growth rate, the sgr and implementing a sound anchorage, some 600 miles replacement policy for medicare away, can't get in and they say the risk to us to fly in with reimbursement to physicians. we reported out dr. burgess's somebody who is in the midst of medicare patient access and quality improvement act of 2013, a difficult labor and needs to h.r. 2810 by a voice vote in the get out to the nearest hospital, which is anchorage, full committee reported out 600 miles away, it's too favorably by a vote of 51-0 last july. as we move ahead with a great, or we're not willing to permanent sgr fix, we also need risk our lives so who do you to examine the expiring medicare call, you call the coast guard. in 2012 the coast guard was called in i believe four times medicaid children's health insurance program, chip. at the cost of $22,000 to the taxpayers to bring in a crew to and human services provisions that have traditionally moved with the sgr. medevac that individual out. the purpose of today's hearing is to look at these extenders so if you can fly in, if the and evaluate whether some of the coast guard is able to do it, short-term provisions should be made permanent and if so how they will be there. but in the meantime, you've had people die, you've had planes best to accomplish this. the list of extenders includes
crash. the following. foreign geographic adjustment or and if you can't get out, the alternative -- because there is gypsy for physician fee schedull no road, there's no ten-mile, one-lane, noncommercial use increase and annual connector road, you can go reimbursement, therapy cap across the water. think about it, mr. president. if the weather is bad enough up exceptions process, special needs plans, medicare reasonable in the air, think about what cost contracts, national quality it's doing down in that ocean. it's pretty tough. forum, qualifying individual and so you can come across the water four hours in 15, 20-foot program, transitional medical assistance to medicare inpatient seas but once you get over to hospital payment adjustment for low volume hospitals, medicare cold bay it's not like they can just load you onto a nice -- dependent hospital, in the a into a nice airplane on the runway there. you've got to get docked and up program, medicaid and chip express lane eligibility, off the dock to get to the children's performance bonus airport. payments, child health quality measures, outreach and well, the fact of the matter assistance for low-income programs, family to family is, king cove, cold bay, a health information centers, little bit rustic out there.
what you see here -- it's probably difficult to see. abstinence education, personal this is the top of the dock at responsibility education night. program, health workforce this is about a 20-foot drop to demonstration program, the maternal infant and early the ocean here. you have metal ladders that you childhood home visiting programs and special diabetes program. fliem up if you are able -- in our current budget climate and with the medicaid -- climb up sphucial able. medicare trustees predicting but if you are able you probably insolvency as early as 2026 our don't need to be medevacked out. decisions will have to be made to any determination that a policy should be made permanent you're climbing up this metal must be based on data-driven ladder in the dark and the wind. analysis that justifies the what you're seeing here is extenders continued existence. basically a sled that has been utt hoisted on a crane, i'm looking for to hearing from swinging around in the wind in our windows to be particularly from that pack which is come up the dark. i don't have the picture here of with its own criteria for evaluating those provisions the elder who had suffered a which includes the effect heart condition and could not make it up the steps, they passable action would have on could not hoist him up. programs spending relative to they put him in a crab pot and current law. further action would improve beneficiaries access to care and quality of care and whether hauled him up by crane onto the action would dance delivery top of the dock so that they system reform. this is the time for us to be very prudent and even skeptical could then take him to the
given the enormous cost of these airport where he was safely policies and do our job on evacuated out and made it to behalf of the taxpayers to ensure every dollar spent is anchorage. mr. president, as i say, when we're talking about the health reviewed for ethics. and safety of the people of king thank you and i yield the remainder of my time to cove, it's not speculative. dr. burgess vice chair of the subcommittee. people are dying. people have died. >> thank you mr. chairman and i do appreciate that you started your opening statement with people are afraid to fly. acknowledgments that the reason we are here today is because of the real progress that has been the testimony that the secretary made on the repeal of the heard that my colleagues have sustainable growth rate formula which has been a problem for a heard, as the people of king cove have come back, they've lot of us for a long time. said enough. so the cake is literally in the oven baking and today we are the secretary in her visit to going to talk about how we best king cove in august stood before go into that before the process is completed. the school children there at an there are certainly a number of medicaid related policies that assembly and she's very good with children, and it was good plague providers because of the to watch the exchange. uncertainty that it brings to but those children spoke up to the program participation by provider payment each year. her and told her why they needed ..
a road out of king cove. and to hear a child say we need a road so that i'm not afraid to fly because i don't want anyone to die, mr. president, it is -- this is an issue, again, that the stories that we have heard, that the secretary has heard, because i was there with her, we heard the stories together. they are heart wrenching. they bring tears to your eyes. the people, the families that have lived with this have been devastated, and the secretary heard all this. and yet it seems that she has just chosen to ignore the voices of those children, the stories
of those elders, the pictures of an elder being hauled up in a crab pot so he can make a medevac to anchorage. mr. president, i want my colleagues to know here in the senate as well as the administration that i am not going to let this issue die. and there's a simple reason why, because i am not willing to let anyone in king cove suffer or die because they do not have emergency access out of their village. this decision rested squarely on the shoulders of secretary jewell, who then announced this devastating news only hours before christmas eve. a heartless decision delivered at a heartless time.
now, the secretary said to me that there's no good time to deliver bad news and i would agree. but the timing of this decision was solely hers. there was no deadline within which she had to act. she chose to announce it on monday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. washington, d.c. time knowing that everyone was going to be skating out of here for the holidays, hoping that everyone was going to be distracted with their family events, hoping that no one was going to be watching. she knew that the people of king cove would be upset. she knew that i would be upset. but it's less than a thousand people, she thinks. well, mr. president, that's just not how you do things. it is just not how you do things. the people of king cove are
without hope right now for one reason, and that's because of this decision from the secretary. and i've come here to tell the senate what happened to them and what was supposed to be, what was supposed to be a season of joy and celebration, and i truthfully cannot use strong enough words to show the depth of my anger for this decision. i can't fathom why she came to it, why she was willing to sign her name to it, but i for one never thought that we would see a gay where under the guise of making -- a day where under the guise of making a public interest decision a cabinet secretary would so blatantly disregard the public's health and safety. and we have. so the question now is, does it stand? are we going to do what we know is right and make sure those who
live in king cove are protected? well, i have my answer. i am going to stand in solidarity with the people of king cove and others in alaska and across the country whose well-being is put at risk by misguided decision by government devoid of proper balance between human and wildlife decision. i have not, every opportunity to resist and seek redress from secretary jewell's bad decision, now an obvious and perhaps an easy step would be to introduce yet another bill. but i'm not willing to concede that the last word has been spoken on the law -- the law -- that we enacted in 2009. and that law passed after a great deal of effort. there was debate, there was significant compromise, as i
have outlined, but that was a law that we had all negotiated and -- and i don't believe that that law has been properly implemented. and who knows how and whether the courts might address that injustice? a messaging bill might get some attention but, you know, i'm concerned that its immediate consequence may be to legitimize in the eyes of many a bad decision that we should be fighting rather than accepting. and i think that the people of king cove deserve better. mr. president, the department of interior needs more balance. the u.s. fish and wildlife service needs better direction. i'm not ruling out any possible remedy. in this case, alaskans have been made the victims. but i think that all americans are at risk from this kind of
unbalanced decision making and i pledge to my colleagues and my constituents that i'm going to keep fighting for what is right both morally and legally. this fight is not over. and again, mr. president, the attention is drawn to the residents of king cove and a small, small connector road in a very remote part of our country. but i do think it is emblematic of the bigger struggle, the bigger fight that we are seeing as a state with our own agencies, wit, with our own fedl government. so i've taken a great deal of time this evening. i appreciate the president's attention as i have made my -- made my words and made my case. i'm certain that the administration is listening to my words as well. as i indicated at the outset, in
alaska, we have no choice but to figure out how we deal with our agencies because they consume, they occupy so much of -- of how we're even able to move forward as a state. i will continue to do what i can to work with this administration in a manner that's going to benefit the people that i work for but i will always, always put the health and safety and best interests of alaskans fir first. with that, mr. president, i yield the floor. i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.